Rugby World Cup – The Death of Logo Centered Sponsorship
18th September, 2015
The recent Soccerex panel discussion saw Jackie Fast, Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship, sit alongside a number of industry experts to debate the future of sponsorship. One of the key take home messages from the discussion was that brands are slowly moving away from logo centered sponsorship in sport and instead are now focused on creating innovative campaigns with unique content using an array of digital channels to engage the consumer delivering their story with much greater impact.
Interestingly, the Rugby World Cup is commencing today. In keeping with the basis of the Soccerex discussion is the reminder that no official team sponsor will be allowed to display their logo on their respective team shirts at the tournament as England’s Rugby sponsorship is handled by the RFU, whilst the Rugby World Cup is handled by World Rugby.
This is not a new concept and has in fact always been the case with regards to the Rugby World Cup. As a sponsor, O2 have dealt with these circumstances for the 20 year partnership with England Rugby.
With what was likely a topic of frustration originally for O2 has undoubtedly had a positive impact on the partnership. Without having a logo to utilise forces O2 to engage with fans more creatively – ultimately developing a stronger brand story and relationship with their consumers.
This year O2 have used their rights as England’s team sponsor to great effect with the launch of the Make Them Giants #WearTheRose campaign, emphasising the power of support to unite not just rugby fans but a wider audience, urging the whole nation to get behind the team. The campaign has been strategically positioned to engage with fans leading up to the Rugby World Cup and beyond into 2017.
Since its launch in February, O2 have been championing ‘Wear the Rose’ across TV, print, video-on-demand, digital, radio and social channels inspiring fans to spur the England Rugby team onto victory. O2 will continue to demonstrate their commitment to bringing fans closer to the action providing them with exclusive content from England coaches, players and special guests explaining the power of support and what it is like to ‘Wear the Rose’ via O2’s unique England Rugby hub.
This unique case gives support for the Soccerex panels’ view that brands are more focused on creating unique, compelling campaigns to deliver their brand message as opposed to the previous logo centered sponsorship in sport.